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Israeli Defence Forces show restraint compared to Taliban and Hamas

IN his/her unattributed letter criticising America's continuing support of Israel (Write Back, September 8), your correspondent clearly subscribes to the prevailing orthodoxy which depicts the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) as an indiscriminate harbinger of doom that conducted a mass slaughter of "over 2,100 people in Gaza, many of them children".

The fact that more than 2,000 people died is indisputably a tragedy. And there is no doubt that Gaza is in ruins.

However, to claim that it is a consequence of an uncaring political system, which arbitrarily launched an indiscriminate bombing offensive, is a distortion of the facts.

Commenting on the recent tragedy in Gaza, Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, called the IDF the most "moral Army in the world".

His analysis of the recent conflict concluded that "no other Army in the world has ever done more than Israel is doing now to save the lives of innocent civilians in a combat zone".

Before reaching this conclusion, Col Kemp drew an analogy between the tactics of the Taliban, who used "young children to attack his troops", and the tactics of Hamas, which forced young children in Gaza into becoming unwitting front line combatants, and therefore casualties, by forcing them to stay in IDF-designated targets up to 12 hours before they were bombed.

DR KEVIN McCARTHY

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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